Planning your website

Start the process with clarity and confidence

What should I have prepared before hiring a website designer?

It’s great that you’re ready to have a website designed and created. It’s a significant step in building an online or brick and mortar business.

There are two main reasons to create a new website:

  1. To upgrade an existing website design, capability, functionality,  and or platform.
  2. To create a new website to increase your business turnover, legitimacy or better service your clients and customers.

In some ways, redesigning a website can be easier, as content already exists. Whether the existing content is in alignment with current and future needs or not, there are undoubtedly pieces of content that can be reused, from contact details to product shots, there can be several elements that can be reused. An existing site can also help highlight what works and what doesn’t work.

Creating a website from scratch can be daunting if you have no content to work with, as all websites require some content to be prepared for the web build/launch.

We can start with the absolute basics, with company details, contact information, business registration status, location and product and or service outline. This information will assist in determining what type of website is a good fit for your business model and budget.

The brand new site

If you need to create a website from scratch, you have two main options;

  1. You will need to accumulate a range of digital assets for the web designer to use in shaping the site, including photos, videos, graphics, icons, stock images, logo, branding information, product/service descriptions, and company information such as terms and conditions documents, privacy policy, shipping information … the list goes on.
  2. You can have a website designed without existing content based on branding alone, and have content purposefully created to fulfil the site’s designed purpose.

The direction you choose should be made based on your skill and expertise, your budget, the industry you are in/targeting and your timeline.

If you already have a solid collection of high-quality images and are a bit of a wordsmith, then the first option might be best for you. The second option can yield a more professional result with better fit-for-purpose, however, it can be time-consuming as content will need to be sourced, commissioned, outsourced, all of which take time to effectively and accurately accumulate.

We find that generally, a good combination of the two is the best place to start. With an accumulation of content to choose from, we like to pick the best from what is available and suggest that new content is developed to accentuate and complete the vision for your site.

Have a website framework built with dummy content

What many clients choose to do is to have a dummy site prepared as the ideal can be created, with content then developed to flesh out the ideal user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). We can design a website based on an anticipated ideal UI and UX would be for your industry, target demographic and location. This works well for many businesses as the look and feel can be pulled together quite quickly, and content prepared, purposefully to flesh the live site out.

Having a website built from a suite of pre-prepared content

The second way a new site is approached is when a business has a suite of existing content, usually images, that is well branded, staged, or represents their business, products and or services well. This is wonderful if the images are of a high enough quality in regards to composition, lighting, resolution, focus and file format. While mobile phones take wonderfully clear and sharp images these days, they can be poorly or inconsistently lit, poorly framed and or tilted so that subject is not 100% vertical in the frame. Also, iPhones have started using a new image capture format called HEIC file format, which is very difficult to work with outside of the iPhone and or Apple devices.

Although the provision of images can be a great start, these images may need to be enhanced at the very least, or re-shot in many cases. The quality of images used in a website can be the key to a professional presentation or your site looking unprofessional with reduced customer confidence.

We can assist with image correction, image reframing (tilt to vertical), cropping, site photography, staff (headshot) photography and product photography if required (and local to the Brisbane/Gold Coast area).

Planning your website

All websites need to be planned. After your free one-hour consultation call, you will have a clearer idea of the assets that will be required to complete your site. We can help you through this discovery phase. We will need to discover the following:

  • What your potential customer or client needs from your site.
    For example, does your potential customer need to know about all your skill and experience? The answer may be ‘yes’ if you are a lawyer and your skill and experience may be a deciding factor in whether or not they choose to become a client, and ‘no’ if you are an online retailer, where the products and pricing will be key in their decision-making process. Many businesses make a mistake in attempting to make their website a ‘look at me’ feature, when their customer’s needs should be paramount.
  • Your site’s user personas.
    Think about all the different types of customers you want to attract. List them, give them names, what do they need from your business? What would make them happy in a transaction?
  • Assess your competition.
    What are they doing well? What kind of content do they use? Is it effective? Would it make you buy from them if you were a potential client/customer? Are their prices in alignment with yours? What could they do better?

These observations and many more will help to determine what kind of unique content is required for your own site.

Creating content or having content created for you

While it is definitely not okay, or even legal, to copy and paste content from a competitor site, it is absolutely okay to assess a competitor site and use that assessment to help you plan and create your own content, or help you to understand what to request when having content (text, images, videos and graphics) created for you.

If you’re ready to start work on your site, schedule your free one-hour consultancy chat today. We can help you to identify the next steps, and create a solid plan for achieving your goals.

Let's chat about your website needs
no upsell, just good advice

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